PHILADELPHIA – New York Jets owner Woody Johnson told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that the Dolphins' failure to get upgrades for SunLife Stadium is "not good" for the Miami area as he and his fellow NFL owners get ready to vote on bids for future Super Bowl locations.
"I don't think it helps," Johnson said, referring to the failure of the Florida state legislature to push forward a vote on $200 million in funding for the stadium. "I think this business is a synergy between the community and a team to get renovations done."
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had promised to share in the renovation costs on the stadium, which is privately owned. The plan was for voters in Miami-Dade County to decide on the proposal on May 14. However, the bill stalled in the legislature last week and will not go to a special ballot.
The belief by many is that the NFL will now vote to award Super Bowl L in 2016 to San Francisco over Miami when owners meet May 21 in Boston to determine the sites for Super Bowl L and LI. In addition to losing out to San Francisco, Miami could also come up short to Houston on Super Bowl LI. Most importantly, there is a fear that Miami, which has hosted a high 10 Super Bowls, could become a lesser part of the rotation as a host city.
Some people in Miami have downplayed the idea that the NFL will ignore the area. However, the league has shown a willingness to play hardball in such matters. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told San Diego officials in January 2003 that the league would not return there without a new stadium or significant upgrades. Likewise, Atlanta has dropped out of the Super Bowl rotation and Los Angeles will not get another title game until it has both a team and a stadium.
Johnson wouldn't go so far as to say Miami will never get another Super Bowl.
"Does it mean that Miami is completely out of the running?," Johnson rhetorically asked. "The stadium [renovations] aren't a complete determining factor. It's hard to know right now. I just don't think it helps when a proposal like this goes down in flames like that."
NFL.com video on what's next for the Dolphins:
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